There is no doubt that Carol Ann Bond deserved to be pissed when she found out her husband was the father of her best friend's baby. If you found that out, you'd probably want a little revenge too. But Carol's revenge got her in deep doo doo. The betrayed wife's payback took the form of stealing chemicals from her place of work (she was a microbiologist) and smearing them on her rival's mailbox. Because a mailbox is considered federal territory, the feds intervened and set up a surveillance cam to find out who was playing around with chemicals. Carol was caught. The next thing she knew, her little mailbox revenge meant she was prosecuted under a federal law banning chemical weapons -- and sent to prison for six years.

Carol certainly did not act maturely. And what she did makes a big case for never taking revenge, no matter how much you want to. You never know what strange little law is going to come bite you in the ass.

Carol did not mean to kill her rival. In fact, the chemicals were easy to avoid since they were bright orange. The other woman received a tiny burn on her thumb, but nothing major.

It's kind of an odd form of revenge come to think about it, but I imagine Carol was just being pissy and lashing out, and who can blame her?

The problem is that there's a federal law that complies with the international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty, and that makes using any chemical that can kill or even harm people or animals a federal crime. The penalty for breaking that law is much more severe than it would have been if this were a local crime.

The case has brought up so many issues that it has wound its way to the Supreme Court. Carol's lawyer argues that the law was intended for terrorists and people like the Unibomber -- NOT housewives like Carol who are angry over their spouses' cheating.

There's no doubt that what Carol did was wrong. But did she deserve six years in federal prison?

I think if you're going to mess with chemicals that could potentially kill someone or severely harm them (what if the other woman had put her thumb into her mouth or rubbed her eye?), then you are taking your chances with the consequences.

But it's not hard to also feel sorry for a scorned woman who was in a lot of emotional pain. And six years seems like major overkill. People who kill with cars rarely get that much time.

Do you think the punishment fits her crime? Is the federal government trampling too much on states' rights?


Image via Brian Pocius/Flickr